Daylight Savings Time Ending

Vista now warns you when Daylight Savings time is going to end.

Vista’s little time clock/calender is much better than the one in XP. Not only does it make checking dates easier, it also warns of impending doom (err. Daylight Savings Time starting/ending).

So it’s that time of year when signing up for spring semester classes begin. Once in upper division once every two semesters a one year plan must be filled out and a meeting with an adviser must occur prior to singing up for classes. Today, I was assigned my advisement date and time, and I went to check what day of the week it would be–they only gave a date and something about it seemed wrong (turns out they sent the wrong time and date). Upon clicking on the taskbar clock, I was greeted by a message warning that Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday, November 2nd. This was a surprise as XP did not even warn when it would work its DST magic–Windows 98 would warn after it automatically changed the clock.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Forget MATLAB

Yep, forget it, use GNU Octave instead. For calculus 3, rather linear algebra and differential equations, there is a lab which requires the use of MATLAB to do things that can get ugly. One particular use is for Gaussian elimination for finding values of several variables that solve a set of equations.

Occasionally, a write up is required for certain parts of the problems completed in lab. Checking work previously done in lab when doing the write-up is always reassuring. Going back to the computer lab is not convenient, and the 200USD that it costs for a student license of MATLAB can go to better use. That’s where GNU Octave comes in; it’s GNU’s MATLAB replacement that accepts nearly all of MATLAB’s commands. For Gaussian elimination, Octave sure beats writing a PHP script to do it (which I did on Monday).

On a side note, getting Aptana to work on Gentoo is fairly painless, though its installation doesn’t comply with the Gentoo philosophy. Maybe when it comes out of beta I’ll help get it into portage. I’ve also written a simple bash script for loading Aptana, which will be available in the tools section on this site once I figure out exactly where Aptana’s files should go to be consistent with Gentoo’s installation methods. Since at the U of M they don’t automatically load the modules necessary to run MATLAB at login, and the matlab command doesn’t do it automatically I’ve written a simple bash script that should take care of this. It’s available for download in the tools section.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]

Some Things Work

This XML-RPC coding and debugging is a real pain. From investigation, one has learned that the script only works when called from a file under the main directory of a domain, or subdomain. That means, rpc.weblogs.us, beta.weblogs.us, and others will work if the script is called from the index.php, while something like weblogs.us/rpc, or beta.weblogs.us/rpc refuses to work. In refusing to work, the debugging script sends an XML-RPC ping, but receives no response what-so-ever from the server. So to test the script manipulation of the index.php file must occur to collect data, and then revert it back to view the site.

Speaking of things, in our discussion group for the History of Rock on Friday, we received our music observations essays back. Our TA then made comments on the generally seen problems in the essays, and then came what has to be the quote of the day. “…I like things, stuff and shit, but my things, stuff and shit are probably different than your things, stuff, and shit…” The moral of the quote is that one shouldn’t use the words things, stuff and shit in a paper, no matter how informal the paper is. One’s paper had no problems with this, but obviously others did.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]